Top 5 Tips for Making Friends Backpacking

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Vicky Philpott

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Written by: Mary Short

In our recent survey ‘making friends’ was one of your biggest worries, ahead of getting lost, running out of money and homesickness. Trust me, when you’re travelling it’s really not that hard. There are so many people in the same situation as you that everyone is really friendly and they’re all just up for a good time.

I put it to our our community on the message boards: “How do you make friends while you’re travelling?”

Message boards on

Obviously. There’s no science to making friends backpacking, no formula to making sure you’re the hostel head honcho, or to making sure you’re the first one that gets invited out from the hostel bar.

Tom Griffiths, the founder of, has written a whole article on the subject How to Meet People with tips for before and during your big trip. You can also take a look at our travel mates section to find people to hang out with before you even go. We’ve inspired thousands of friendships over the year, and even a few marriages… but don’t let that scare you off.

This particular thread on how to make friends in hostels dates back to 2010 but the rules of making friends have pretty much remained the same over the last three years, trust me.

But before you click on all those juicy links, let’s go through the basics as laid out by our gappers quickly now.

The top 5 tips for making friends backpacking

1. Stay in a hostel

How to make friends in hostels

2. Join a project

How to make friends backpacking

3. Book a tour

How to make friends backpacking

4. Hang out in bars

How to make friends backpacking

5. Just talk!

Making friends in a hostel

So there you have it. You’re armed with all the advice and knowledge we have on, and all you need. Now go and put it into practice and let us know how you get on.

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